Lafayette’s economy continues to redefine robust, ringing in a whopping $527 million in retail sales in June, the latest month for which figures are available. That’s 2.5 percent higher than June of last year and 6.5 percent above May of this year. Year-to-date retail sales are up to $2.96 billion, a 3.92 percent increase over the first six months of 2012. In fact, June was the third highest single month on record for Lafayette Parish. Hotel/motel receipts are also out-pacing 2012. It’s little wonder, although much appreciated, that Area Development magazine, which businesses use for scouting locations to open their doors, gave Lafayette a trifecta, naming it Best Midsize City, Best City in the South and Best Overall City among nearly 400 metro areas ranked.
Kerry Bertrand will almost certainly be convicted for the murder of his stepdaughter, 20-year-old Skylar Credeur, who was found drowned in her bathtub in Rayne — Bertrand, according to police, was found hiding in the attic — a week after she filed a protective order against him. Bertrand will get his day in court. But regardless of the outcome, the case underscores a level of dysfunction in the 15th Judicial District system that should give everyone pause. Bertrand had been released from the Acadia Parish Jail where he was being held on a molestation charge on Aug. 12. He had been jailed since May 31 on the charge, but was released because a bill of information was never filed in the case, a procedure required to keep a suspect behind bars. District Attorney Mike Harson blames state police, telling local media he didn’t receive a report from state police until 75 days after Bertrand’s arrest. State police argue the report wasn’t necessary to file the bill of information. Someone dropped the ball big time. And if Bertrand is ultimately convicted of a crime that could have been prevented had the legal system done its job and kept him in jail, Skylar Credeur’s death is at once tragic, senseless and an outrage.
Headlines in next year’s Senate race pitting incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu against, presumably, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, tell the tale: “Cassidy won’t support shutdown over Obamacare” (Aug. 22 at theind.com via The Associated Press) and “Cassidy supports government shutdown threat over Obamacare flap” (Aug. 25 in The Advocate). What happened in that three-day span? For starters, the arch conservative Heritage Foundation dropped Cassidy onto a target list for failing to join the far right wing of the GOP that wants to shut the federal government down if any spending resolutions include funding for the Affordable Care Act. He joined moderate Louisiana congressional Republican Reps. Charles Boustany and the soon-to-be-retired Rodney Alexander on said target list. According to The Advocate, Cassidy had no comment on his change of heart, although he released a statement reminding us that he has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare because ... something Albert Einstein said about insanity.
Co-founder Ryan Trahan goes solo to keep it local.
Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
Lafayette patio home or Port Barre waterfront cottage
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
A few of my favorite things
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.